Saturday’s winter hike on the Beaver Flow Trail, led by artist and naturalist Sheri Amsel, was a fabulous event. Several people turned out to take a refreshing walk in the snowy woods and learn about identifying trees in the winter and animal tracks. The recent snow covered some tracks but we could still recognize coyote, otter, and of course, deer tracks. One highlight was walking beside a frozen ice ledge.
As we walked along the trail, I was asked about the liability for landowners who allow hikers on their property. While acknowledging all the disclaimers one might normally see when discussing legal matters, the answer is one that you might want to know. New York State, through its General Obligations Law, provides extremely strong protections to landowners. It states that a property owner is not responsible to keep the premises safe for entry or use by others for hiking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, bicycle riding, and a host of other recreational activities. Furthermore, the landowner is not liable for any injury to people on the property. The way one might be liable is if people pay to come on the property or you create a hazard and don’t warn people about it. You can see the law and its legalese by clicking here.
February 20 is the next and unusual “Third Saturday of the Month Volunteer Project” where we really need your help! We have a number of telephone poles that we plan to use on some bridge building projects. We want to move these from the Westport Highway Garage to our storage shed and to a couple work sites and need some muscle to load them onto a truck; and then get them off. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help. We will meet at 8:30 am at Dogwood Bread Company in Wadhams for coffee and energizing muffins and should be done around 1:00 pm.
February 27 is the “Introduction to Snowshoeing” workshop followed by a chili buffet and music at the Dogwood Bread Company. Things are looking up for us to actually have SNOW for this event, but if we don’t, still plan to come for a great winter hike. Pok-O-MacCready instructor Zack Floss said if there isn’t enough snow to snowshoe, he will use the hike to “Read the Winter Landscape,” exploring how the land had been used since European settlement began. The group will look at various signs on the forest floor, the composition and age of tree species in the area, and other hints of human or animal activity. Meet at the Dogwood Bread Company at 3:00 p.m. The chili buffet starts about 5:00 and will cost $12/person so plan to stay for dinner and music. Others can just come for the chili and music. Click here for more information and to register for the event.
CATS Executive Director
- Volunteer Vacation Crew Completes Three Trail Projects (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Building Bridges & Moonlit Hiking (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Launching Wildway Passage Trail with Public Hike (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)